We Craft Box, the Runner-Up winner for Cratejoy’s inaugural Subscription Box Accelerator Program, started with a simple idea.
“Some of my fondest childhood memories are of crafting with my mom,” Betsy Wild, We Craft’s founder, tells me. But as a working mom, it was challenging to find the leftover time and energy to prepare fun craft activities. Betsy knew that she couldn’t be the only parent who felt this way. “So,” she says, “I came up with my own solution and have turned it into a product that is now helping thousands of families unplug from the screen and connect through creativity.”
That’s no hyperbole: We Craft grew nearly 900% in sales since its original launch in October 2017!
We can attribute this growth in part to the Cratejoy Accelerator Program, which gave Betsy the structure and additional knowledge she needed to raise her conversion rate and scale her business.
Way back in its first month, We Craft Box had 20 subscribers. “While I have my background in art, business and subscription boxes were new to me when I started,” Betsy says. The brand hadn’t known to build a prelaunch campaign before officially opening, so initial sales were slow. “If I could go back and do it again I would,” Betsy says. “[I] feel if I was more brave and bold and had more knowledge in marketing when I did my prelaunch, I would have been more strong in numbers right out of the gate.”
“Like most startups, we have faced a few setbacks here and there, and have grown and adapted as we’ve worked through them… Being a monthly subscription box, we are fortunate in that every month we have an opportunity to improve the product and experience for our subscribers.”
A prelaunch, for readers unfamiliar with it, is an email-gathering campaign to build a community around your product before you open for business. Sub box businesses that work on developing their email list and social media presence can grow substantial excitement and emotional investment around their store launch.
However, Betsy says that the “slow and steady growth” of We Craft’s first year helped her grow as a businesswoman. “We learned as we went. We had some big challenges that would have been terrifying at a larger number and now I feel I can handle them confidently.”
Betsy entered the Accelerator as one in a handful of relaunching brands, who sought to revamp operations and launch again.
Learning from mentors in the subscription box industry – in advertising, shipping, inventory management, and more – was “priceless,” Betsy tells us. Additionally, the program’s Facebook community proved an immeasurable resource for crowdsourcing, feedback, and support from people who could relate.
“I enjoyed seeing everyone [in the program] grow and feel we did really connect, and hope we all continue to as we all grow.”
“[T]he biggest WIN for me was digital marketing,” Betsy says. Though she already had experience when it came to branding and design – she has a BFA at the Art Center of Design and previously worked as a creative director – digital marketing was new to her. The knowledge Betsy gained from the program’s webinars and assignments on marketing helped amp up her ad game significantly. “I picked up a lot from across the board that I applied [to marketing].” In particular, a free one-on-one consultation with a digital marketing agency, one of Cratejoy’s program partners, gave her new insights on marketing her subscription box.
We Craft Now – and What’s Next
For Betsy, what’s most important is the connections We Craft Box creates. “We are all about making creative time with family stress-free, easy and accessible,” she says. “We have so many happy parents, but I think the most rewarding is when grandparents and extended family gift our box to their grandchildren and their important little people they maybe don’t get to see as often, due to living all over the country.”
“Many of our gift giver[s] ask for FaceTime calls or photos of the children’s creations… It’s a very special and powerful form of connection we have created, and it gives me the warm and fuzzies every day that I can help families connect.”
That family-first outlook hasn’t gone unnoticed by We Craft subscribers – or the media. In recent months, the burgeoning brand has been featured by outlets like Real Simple, Mashable, HuffPost, and Florida local morning show Suncoast View. We Craft has also been reviewed on blogs like Not a Tree Reviews, This Mama Reviews, Self-Sufficient Kids, and Beauty Brite.
As We Craft grows, Betsy will put the Accelerator prize money toward further developing the brand’s digital marketing strategies. “We have hired a professional digital marketing team and [are] investing in our team and space to be as efficient as possible.” Recently, Betsy even took over Cratejoy’s Instagram to celebrate National Children’s Craft Day and give us a peek behind the scenes.
You won’t feel surprised to see that working at We Craft looks like a blast! We can’t wait to see where this business rockets to next.